May 2 2012 by Mike Mason
There is something about traveling that makes me forget about all my food morals. I'm sure I'm not alone. With fast food joints at practically every freeway exit across the country, it is quite tempting to give in and jump on the fast food band wagon. It seems so easy to just pull into the drive-through, grab a burger, fries, and a soda, and be on your way. However, if you plan ahead, and stay vigilant, you can have a guilt free trip - at least when it comes to food.
Bring food! Packing a cooler full of whatever food you normally eat is a good way to ensure that you stick with whatever healthy eating habits you already have. You don't have to pack full meals. Foods like sandwiches, cold meats, fruits, and vegetables will keep your stomach happy and your conscience guiltless - not to mention keeping your wallet a little bigger. And, if you're bringing kids along, a bunch of grapes will keep their mouths busy, that way they aren't singing those awful road songs the whole way (99 bottles of beer on the wall? No thank you)... unless you're into that kind of thing, of course... then, sing away. I don't judge.
Bring water - and drink it. It doesn't seem like water would be related to hunger, but it's a little-known fact that drinking enough water will make you less likely to be hungry when you don't really need to eat. That empty feeling you get in your stomach as it seems to be shouting "FEED ME!" is probably actually thirst. A really good way to quench your thirst is to drink water.
Go where the locals go. When you finally do stop after that long day of driving, don't just crash at your Best Western and order a pizza - go find a local restaurant (restaurant, not fast food joint) and get a taste of the local culture. Ask one of the Best Western employees where they recommend getting good food. It might also be a good way to get to know someone in the area.
Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast! It's not a myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That wasn't something your parents told you in the morning just so you'd finish your bowl of Cheerios before you headed off to school. Breakfast is brain food. Eat something, even if it's just a muffin and a cup of juice. Your brain and your stomach will join together in chanting "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Fortunately, many Best Western hotels offer a free breakfast service for their guests. So, go down and check it out - it's free. Not only will it get your day started off healthier, it will help you focus while you're driving as well, which is very important.
Well, now that you're an expert on travel eats, the only left to do is plan your trip - and apply what you just learned. I bid you adieu - Go forth and conquer that road, hungry Conquistadors!